Objective: To develop a computerized method to assess the mandibular lateral deviation pattern during mastication. Method: 44 videos of masticatory processes were analysed using the algorithm developed. The individuals were instructed to perform a specific pattern of mastication: only on the left or the right side (group 1), alternating five bites on one side and two on the opposite side (group 2), alternating 3 bites on each side (group 3). The computerized method identified, frame by frame, the lateral displacement of the chin and determined the amplitude and the percentage of mandibular lateral deviation to each side. Results: The groups 1 and 2 showed significantly higher number of cycles on the side of chewing compared to the opposite side and there was no difference between two sides in group 3. The amplitude of cycles showed similar results. In groups 1 and 2, the method identified the preferred chewing side, however, the percentage of the identified cycles in the chewing side was significantly lower than the percentage of cycles required (p <0.001). Conclusion: The proposed computerized method was effective in identifying the bilateral masticatory pattern and recognizing the existence of preference to use one of the sides during the masticatory cycles.


Mastication, Chewing Pattern, Computerized Method